Athletics

Angels catcher Francisco Arcia makes MLB history in 21-3 loss to A's

Angels catcher Francisco Arcia makes MLB history in 21-3 loss to A's

Position players pitching has become all the rage in Major League Baseball this season.

Some find it fun and quirky. Some think managers have taken it too far, using position players early in blowouts rather than at the end.

Where ever you stand on the tactic, you should be able to appreciate what Angels catcher Francisco Arcia did on Thursday in Oakland.

For the first six innings of the game, Arcia was in the squat, catching six different Angels pitchers. But after those six innings, the A's led the Angels 18-2, so manager Mike Scioscia decided to save one of unlimited relief pitchers (oh hey September roster expansion) and put Arcia on the mound.

Arcia got the first two outs of the seventh, but then give up a single to A's catcher Josh Phegley, a two-run homer to left fielder Nick Martini and another homer to third baseman Chad Pinder. Arcia would go on to pitch a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

Then things got really weird in the top of the ninth inning. With two outs and the A's up 21-2, Arcia hit a solo home run off A's reliever Chris Hatcher. If you go back and watch the replay of the home run closely, you can actually see Arcia laughing as he's rounding the bases.

Why is this news? Because Arcia is the first player in the modern era of MLB to catch, pitch and homer in the same game.

So, for those fans that stuck around the Coliseum to watch the end of a bloodbath, they got to see something that has never happened in MLB history. Congrats to them. Hang on to that ticket. They still make tickets, right?

Former A's catcher Bruce Maxwell, who kneeled for anthem, fires agent

Former A's catcher Bruce Maxwell, who kneeled for anthem, fires agent

Former A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell, the only MLB player to take a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice and racial inequality, fired his agent on Thursday after he grew frustrated that he remains unsigned. 

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that several sources believe Maxwell might not ever get another job in the big leagues again, regardless of who represents him. 

Maxwell was arrested for aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.in October 2017 after he pulled a gun on a fast-food delivery worker, but that is not reportedly the main reason he doesn’t have a job.

“It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest,” one major-league executive told Slusser on Thursday. “Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

After initially protesting in late 2017, Maxwell did not kneel for the anthem during the 2018 season, when he played 18 games for the A’s before being demoted to Triple-A Nashville. Maxwell hit a mere .182 in 55 at bats for Oakland and didn’t fare any better in the minors (.219/.300.281 in 200 Triple-A at-bats).

Slusser cites another source who is hesitant to make the comparison to Colin Kaepernick, who also remains unsigned ever since he started taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016.

“This is not a Colin Kaepernick situation,” the industry source told Slusser. “This is if Colin Kaepernick had knelt for the anthem and also been arrested for a gun crime.”

While it’s clear Maxwell is done donning the Green and Gold, the real question is whether he’ll get a job offer elsewhere. Maxwell hopes a new agent will help give him that opportunity.

How Mariners' Edwin Encarnacion trade might (or might not) affect A's

edwin.jpg
USATSI

How Mariners' Edwin Encarnacion trade might (or might not) affect A's

Well, this was supposed to be the last day of the Winter Meetings, but here we are. Another day ending in "Y" and another trade made at the helm of Jerry Dipoto. But this one was made from his hospital bed.

Yes, that happened.

Here's what the trade entailed:

The Mariners acquired first base / designated hitter, Edwin Encarnacion according to Jon Heyman of Fancred, while sending Carlos Santana to the Indians. 

The Rays are also a part of the deal adding Yandy Diaz and right-handed Minor League pitcher Cole Sulser to the roster from the Indians as reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays will send Jake Bauers to Cleveland along with $5 million to Seattle from Tampa Bay (via Joel Sherman of the New York Post). Seattle will send $6 million to the Indians while acquiring Cleveland's competitive balance pick.

Got that all? Good.

So how does this AL trade affect the A's? Let's take a look:

Edwin's numbers

First things first, nobody is 100-percent sure that Encarnacion will stay with the Mariners, but if he does, the A's don't have much to worry about if they want to depend on some of his splits.

For instance, Encarnacion struggles against the A's. In 36 games (136 at-bats) he's slashing a career .221/.308/.455 with eight long balls and 16 RBI. That's enough data to let you wrap your head around it. 

Overall, however, last season the three-time All-Star struggled, slashing just .246/.336/.474. He did hit a respectable 32 home runs, but that's about as good as it got.

Maybe it'll be one of those comeback stories?

No different for Santana

Last season, 32-year-old Santana did the same song and dance as Encarnacion. He was fine, I guess -- 24 homers with 86 RBI ... but he played in 161 games. And those numbers don't coincide with who he is and who he has been as a player. And I'm a firm believer that 32 is the new 29 when it comes to age.

This shouldn't mess with the A's that much. When the A's are his opponent, the numbers aren't pretty. He has a few long balls at The Coli, but you will not see any of the A's pitching around him.

Bauers hour

Yes, I stole that from Trevor Bauer, but he can deal with it for the time being. 

I for one am excited about Jake Bauers. He was a top prospect for quite a while in the Rays organization, but there little to no numbers to back up what he can do. I do have a feeling he has this way of getting a bit of a power surge as the innings go by -- so he could either hurt or benefit from that. The A's have a bullpen that is bragworthy, but it's unclear how much of an advantage Bauers will have over the team.

Bauers is just 23 and brings some diversity on defense because he can play at first base when Yonder Alonso needs a day off and left field when Jason Kipnis is at second base or out of the lineup.

I wish I could say this would be some miraculous way to up the A's chances to "taking it all." But it may be a good thing that nothing drastic has changed.

A's fans will have to wait for some more additions, then we can talk about that. Until then, rest easy fam.